TIFF15 REVIEW: Into the Forest [2016]

“It reveals character” The farther we advance towards a world of complete convenience, the further we distance ourselves from self-sufficiency. Every new generation loses more skills and know-how of what humanity was capable of for millennia to survive. We choose careers in dance and the arts, leave books collecting dust when the internet is at our fingertips, and take comfort in the assumption we’re only minutes away from acquiring what we need so technology can continue sustaining us into the future. So what happens when the power goes out? What’s…

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REVIEW: Mad Max: Fury Road [2015]

“Our babies will not be warlords” It’s not often delays, financial dissolutions, and waning interest make a film better, but I don’t want to know what Mad Max: Fury Road might have been without them. In its current form the film embodies a logical escalation of what director George Miller began over three decades ago by embracing the insanity eating away at his titular road warrior’s resolve. Survival becomes a collective pursuit whether in the wastelands left behind after wars ravaged the earth of gasoline, water, humanity, and life itself…

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REVIEW: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome [1985]

“He can beat most men with his breath” It’s said that Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is based (without credit) on Russell Hoban‘s science fiction novel Riddley Walker. This could be true, but to my eye the finished product bears a striking resemblance to the 80s fantasy aesthetic thus far utilized during the decade. More of a parallel than to its own predecessors: low budget 70s cops and robbers actioner Mad Max and gritty dystopian epic The Road Warrior. Its first half in Bartertown is the Wild West of Star Wars‘…

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REVIEW: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior [1981]

“I’m just here for the gasoline” Welcome to the “Wastelands”. This is the Mad Max I remember—a desolate post-apocalyptic future riddled with mohawk-toting, S&M leather-wearing marauders bearing teeth and chaining submissives/human guard dogs on leashes until the fight needs some extra wild. It’s no surprise Hollywood changed the name from Mad Max 2 to The Road Warrior before release while refusing to call attention to it being a sequel in promotional materials because it’s a different beast altogether. With Mad Max‘s unparalleled international success positioning George Miller to choose his…

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REVIEW: Mad Max [1979]

“I’m a fuel-injected suicide machine” You couldn’t turn on the television without seeing Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome when I was growing up. I couldn’t tell you anything about it besides the fact Tina Turner co-starred, but I remember the whole terminally crazed aesthetic of George Miller‘s post-apocalyptic world. So much so that I always assumed I had seen the two previous entries. While I’m pretty sure memories of The Road Warrior lie somewhere dormant in the back of my mind, I cannot say the same about the original. The yellow…

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REVIEW: Bounty Killer [2013]

“Bad manners and a face that’d make his mom grab a hammer” With so many iconic comic book properties transforming into big budget drama to capitalize on contemporary society’s interest in broodingly haunted souls finding redemption, it’s fallen to new, original work to fill the void of yesteryear’s bloody romps interested in entertaining sans desire to take themselves too seriously. For TV graphic designer turned director Henry Saine and writer Jason Dodson, such a work was born from the idea of a post-apocalyptic wasteland left by a series of destructive…

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REVIEW: This is the End [2013]

“Is the power of Christ compelling me? Is that what’s happening?” Way back in 2007 there was a YouTube trailer for a short film entitled Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse that whetted fans’ appetites only to never seen by the public. Time went on, nothing appeared to be happening—which wasn’t necessarily a horrible thing since the trailer wasn’t all that funny—and eventually word came down it was being retooled by the titular Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg into their directorial debut This is the End. Now six…

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REVIEW: Bellflower [2011]

“I’ll eat some bugs. What’s the big deal?” When one thinks post-apocalyptic, images of desert wastelands, Wild West lawlessness, and a penchant for violence ring loud. We anticipate the end of the world leaving us in a void without order and the survivors having the ability to do whatever is necessary to survive. But what happens when we juxtapose these concepts onto the volatility inherent with the end of a romantic relationship? As real a ‘world’ to the couple involved—not to mention the friends choosing sides for war in the…

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